The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 6: “Ghosts”

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Ghosts”

Issue 6 of The Night Man sees a team from The Strangers’ past getting put on The Night Man’s trail. Also, Night Man appears, sort of, in another UV book this month!

Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 5: “Alone”

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Alone”

Issue 5 of The Night Man features an existential crisis for Johnny Domino: is he “alone”? Also, I get the best listener feedback ever, as someone did some detective work for me! And much, much more!

Here is the article that Derek found, scanned, and posted for me! Derek, again, thank you so much! This is the article that I read and that captured my imagination:



Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 4: “Who Is the Night Man?”

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Who Is the Night Man?”

In this third episode, the question “Who is the Night Man?” gets asked and almost answered, and Night Man faces a new foe. It’s the first appearance of the NAME Rhiannon…but not the first appearance of the character!

Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

Break-Thru Crossover w/ Comic Book Time Machine

Sludge3On Ben’s other comic book podcast, he tackles the topic of Sludge, covering the first three issues of Steve Gerber’s Sludge, exploring the themes, stories, differences between Sludge and Man-Thing, and, of course, the way that Sludge fits into the Ultraverse’s first big crossover event, Break-Thru!

You can listen here:


Merry Christmas & “Peas” on Earth from Sludge!

Break-Thru was a December event and took place at Christmas, but there was another Christmas special from the Ultraverse!

Sludge: Red X-Mas was Steve Gerber’s Christmas gift to Sludge fans — the final Sludge comic book issue to hit stands.

Sludge Red X-Mas

And it ended with a nice little panel with a nice little message from Sludge . . . and Steve:

Sludge Red X-Mas

There was also a full page Christmas pin up by Sluge co-creator Aaron Lopresti!

Sludge Red X-Mas

Merry Christmas from the Ultraverse Network!

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 3: Break-Thru!

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Break-Thru!”

In this third episode, Ben talks about the first Ultraverse crossover, Break-Thru, and Night Man’s unique participation with his guest stars, the Freex!

Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 2: MANGLED!

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Mangled!”

In this second episode, Ben talks about issue #2 of The Night Man, Glen Larson’s death, the “shadow” of an earlier “man” Steve Englehart created, and listener feedback!

Thank you so much for listening!

Ben’s other podcasts:

Unleashing the Ultraverse: In the Beginning…

Unleashing the UltraverseI can’t find a date on this. But it came out a few months before any of the books were released.

I’m a comic book creator, some of you may know. I’ve been involved in a number of “launches”, from the launch of a single title, to the launch of a whole line of graphic novels, to the launch of a whole new company. Some of those things thrived, some failed. This may be why the Ultraverse interests me so much. It was a BIG launch. To me, it was like the anti-Image (even if Malibu was publishing Image at the beginning). Malibu was putting out a line of books where “writers were the best gimmick”, instead of tons of alternate covers (although they did that as well). Image was style, the Ultraverse was substance. My opinion, anyway.

This little booklet, Unleashing the Ultraverse: Special Previews Guide, with a headline “Talented writers sharing a vision: The image of the future” was an interesting read.

It starts with an introduction from Chris Ulm, the editor of the line. It’s essentially a letter to retailers and readers. In it he says some interesting things, like, “the Ultraverse line of comics was created around a simple idea: put the story first.” “The Ultraverse is a universe that was created from the ground up to make sense.” He also says, “Expect a Prime video game” (which happened) “a Hardcase short film” (which did not happen, but a Firearm short film was produced) “and a line of Ultraverse trading cards” (again, which happened). He ends the introduction with, “Ultimately, however, the success of the Ultraverse in in YOUR hands. Evaluate the material presented here and go with your instincts. We did!”

There’s then an interview with Tom Mason and Chris Ulm. In it, he explains how they gathered together people like Mike W. Barr, Steve Engelhart, Steve Gerber, James Hudnall, Gerard Jones, Larry Niven, and Len Strazewski to create a new universe. He also reveals that the Wild Cards books, which was edited and written in part by George R.R. Martin (whose Hedge Knight books gave my career a JUMP START) helped model what a “shared universe” should be like. It’s four pages long and gets into a lot of the nitty gritty about how they planned to use the universe for their stories, the creative process of the “think tank” of writers, and the experience of the people involved.

A brief overfiew of Hardcase, Prime, and The Strangers follows. Each had two pages of art as well.

Then, a writer profile of the writers of those first three titles follows. I found this very interesting. For instance, Gerard Jones gives his take on the creation of the existing comic universes from Marvel and DC: “I think [the Ultraverse] is the most well-planned. The marvel Universe grew outward from its beginnings in a more organic fashion. The DC Universe, on the other hand, grew in a more inorganic fashion — that is, by uniting its various characters in environments after the fact. Of course, some new comic book ‘universes’ are well-planned — Valiant, for instance, is a good example — but I think that this group of writers and editors has done the best job of blocking out the rules, characters, and other disparate elements beforehand.”

James Hudnall has an interesting view of the universes as well: “The trouble with Marvel and DC is that their continuity is so messed up. Even Marvel, who used to pride themselves on a sensible continuity . . . has gotten so ridiculous with nine X-men books and such. There’s no way their continuity can make sense. We’ve figured out our history, and we’ve left room for things to be invented.” He wraps up saying, “All the creators are really into the Ultraverse; there’s none of the jaded, ‘let’s get this out’ attitude. If I wasn’t involved in this project, I’d be jealous.”

Heh. I AM jealous.

~ Ben

The Night Man Podcast, Ep. 1

Night Man Podcast LogoThis episode: “Origins.”

It’s the first episode of The Night Man Podcast, hosted by Ben Avery! In this episode, Ben talks about two origins: The Night Man’s, as seen in the pages of Strangers 1-3 and The Night Man 1, and Ben’s own Ultraverse origin!

Thank you so much for listening!

Next week: The first episode of the WRATH OF ALADDIN PODCAST!


Ben’s other podcasts:

Night Man: The Origin of a Superhero (Sort of…)

As part of a shared universe, The Night Man could crossover with other characters and other books very easily. Three issues in, The Night Man crossed over with Freex. And not long after that, there was a crossover with Solution, Solitaire, and Prototype. The shared universe of the Ultraverse was an intentional and careful part of the creation.

But the interesting thing about The Night Man is that he was crossing over before he was The Night Man, to the point where his origin story didn’t actually occur in his own book. Instead, in the three months before The Night Man comic appeared, his origin played out in three issues of The Strangers.

Here is the origin of The Night Man as it appears in The Strangers…


What I realized while considering this was that this actually works as a simple two page comic! Accident, consequences, eyes opening.

The other thing I realized: if you didn’t read this in The Strangers, it doesn’t get a clear presentation in the first issue of The Night Man. It is presented in an almost abstract way, as if it is not important because it was already shown.

More about this in the first episode of The Night Man Podcast…

~ Ben